Community Organising at St Barnabas
Community organising is at the heart of mission and ministry of St Barnabas. These principles include listening, organising, acting, and evaluating together in order to make a real difference to the common good in our congregation, community and city. It's how we identify leaders and grow our power to serve Christ and his world.
St Barnabas is an active member of West London Citizens which is our local chapter of the Citizens UK alliance of faith communities, schools, colleges and community groups in our part of London. We are also helping to found Ealing Citizens.
We draw on community organising to energising and build community at St Barnabas but also to lead and participate in external campaigns through West London Citizens and Citizens UK.
On Thursday 10 September 2020 we met for an online assembly to celebrate our organising during the first lockdown. The assembly was attended by over 55 people and included our MP, local councillors and members of neighbour churches. This highlight clip summarises the learnings, process, outcomes and future plans celebrated at the assembly.
St Barnabas partnered with Christ the Saviour Ealing Broadway to catalyse an affordable housing campaign in Ealing. Working through West London Citizens, we held a Housing Assembly in February 2018 with the Leader of the Council and the Opposition before the local elections. The momentum of the campaign has grown to such an extent that a site for the development of 115 truly affordable homes has been identified and a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Ealing Council.
The work of this campaign is featured in a report 'Coming Home' from the Archbishops' Housing Commission.
Community organising is key to the development of lay and ordained leaders at St Barnabas. Leaders are encouraged to attend training of various types provided by CitizensUK. Training brings together representatives from institutions across West London, building new relationships, confidence and skill for public engagement. At the heart of the work, is the one-to-one meeting.
The Buxton Leadership Programme aims to develop a new generation of Christian leaders who can engage politically to bring about change both in local communities and nationally. In September 2019, Priya Rockley served at St Barnabas as part of her Buxton year. Priya helped us to organise the planting of a new worshiping community at St Barnabas, Noisy Mass, and also organised an Advent Action for the Ealing Housing Campaign.
In the clip below, Priya talk's about the experience of her Buxton year.